Our JavaFX future and a simple photo frame client for the Raspberry Pi


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Our JavaFX future and a simple photo frame client for the Raspberry Pi image

A lot has happened recently regarding JavaFX for arm based devices. Oracle has redrawn their support (their VM) for JavaFX on these devices. Which is quite a shame as it has been pushed a lot to be the next gen user interface to be used with some really impressive demo's running on a Raspberry Pi. Off course the Raspberry Pi has been known as resource limited device, but even though, JavaFX utilized the hardware capabilities in such a way it was possible to push it to the limits. And with now the Raspberry Pi 2 hitting the shelf it would only get better. I understand the ARM drop because of the wide spread and almost impossible to follow platforms, but, if you are pushing so much on internet of things, future technologies etc.. you are missing your own point. With now the Raspberry Pi has been solved over 5 million times, you will get the point.

Fortunately the community is picking it up very well and are busy with creating a lot of awesome stuff so we all can continue with JavaFX. But, the news of the drop caused us thinking about technologies to use for our projects. We will continue using JavaFX as the primary UI framework to develop our clients with. Between the news that JavaFX support was dropped and the community continuing with the project I have been looking for alternative technologies. The result of this little search has become a little playground project which is a simple photo frame.

The photo frame

The photo frame is a Java application which reads a directory of photos in png and or jpeg format. It connects to the PiDome Server to show current time and date, weather information and if you have a device showing your room temperature also this information. The software makes use of the OpenGL implementation of the Raspberry Pi so the software runs quite smooth. Remember this is a kind of a playground project, so there is limited support for it, but available on the forum: http://forum.pidome.org/viewforum.php?id=20

As said, it is very simple. But because it is a playground project, and i will also using this myself there are a coupe of options built in you can define:

  • By default it fades pictures, but you can change this to a random rotation option where random image tweens (image changes) are used in random combinations (i would suggest to use the Raspberry Pi 2 for this option).
  • Images are shown in random order, when all images have been shown. The directory containing the images is reread again, so you can add and remove images at any moment.
  • The used technology does not support progressive jpeg files, but the software does transform the images from progressive to non progressive, there is an option to replace the images in the directory so a new read of the specific file will be much faster and less memory intensive.
  • There is a stand alone function so there will be no connection made to PiDome and you will have an ordinary photo frame without PiDome connectivity.
  • You can change the runmode from photos to magicmirror. This removes all graphical items and only white text will be shown so you can put a monitor/display behind a privacy mirror or piece of glass with privacy foil.
  • You can enable/disable the weather,clock,room temperature and logo.

Some test clips and photos

We have made some test clips. These are made on both a Raspberry Pi 1, and a Raspberry Pi 2.

Second test:

First release clip:

Second release screenshot


The client will be expanded and improved over time so if it does not fit your needs now, it will maybe later, you can always place a remark about it on the forum (http://forum.pidome.org/viewforum.php?id=20), we will surely read it.


The download is available on Bitbucket at: https://bitbucket.org/pidome/pidome-photo-frame/

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